Amtrak booking website/issues/timetables removed

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jis

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That's how Claytor manipulated Congress, right? By threatening to cut a train that happened to go though the district of reluctant members of finance committees?;)
I suppose it is fair enough to use what seems to work repeatedly. Actually, coming think of it, in this context, Anderson seems to have done a masterful job to secure stable funding for the Southwest Chief 😬 And now it appears even food service is on the way to get more stably funded. I wish there was a better less stressful way to achieve these.
 

neroden

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I found Bill Flynn's email address through Elliott Advocacy.


Use it wisely.

UPDATE: Flynn's email is bouncing -- but his subordinates' emails aren't. :cool:
 
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acelafan

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It took a long time to get through but I did open a case with Customer Relations asking for the missing timetables and giving multiple reasons why they should not be discontinued. Like...printing them ahead of time before a trip because you may not have wifi or mobile data access enroute, they are helpful for trip planning, and their absence prevents computer-challenged people like my mother from trying to figure out where the trains run.

The representative said she would send my comments to management and that I asked to be contacted about it. Not holding my breath, obviously, but whining is better than remaining silent in this case.
 

daybeers

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It took a long time to get through but I did open a case with Customer Relations asking for the missing timetables and giving multiple reasons why they should not be discontinued. Like...printing them ahead of time before a trip because you may not have wifi or mobile data access enroute, they are helpful for trip planning, and their absence prevents computer-challenged people like my mother from trying to figure out where the trains run.

The representative said she would send my comments to management and that I asked to be contacted about it. Not holding my breath, obviously, but whining is better than remaining silent in this case.
Thank you for doing that!! Please update if you receive a response.
 
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Death by a thousand paper cuts. I've had enough. I cashed in all my points for a cross-country trip this summer, which unfortunately will probably be my last trip on Amtrak.
 

zephyr17

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Amtrak goes through cycles and always has, pretty much from crappy to really crappy to super crappy then back to crappy. We appear to be starting another super crappy to merely crappy transition in the cycle right now.🙄
 

Trailrider1951

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I have some copies of past schedules for some western trains, and a couple of eastern ones. Some are dated March, 2020, before the switch to three day a week train schedules. They are in pdf format. I can post them if:

1. there is interest
2. it is allowed and does not infringe on copyright laws, and
3. does not violate the terms of use of this website.

Just let me know. 🙂
 

jis

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Apparently RPA reps brought up the timetable on website issue with Amtrak management and they were informed that the outage is temporary until they manage to get their act together through this unstable period of frequent timetable changes, which they are not staffed to deal with. Why not is a good question, but as has been said by the last guy "It is what it is" I guess. 🤷‍♂️ Anyway, it is good to know that even this shall pass, if they stick to their word that is.
 

me_little_me

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Apparently RPA reps brought up the timetable on website issue with Amtrak management and they were informed that the outage is temporary until they manage to get their act together through this unstable period of frequent timetable changes, which they are not staffed to deal with. Why not is a good question, but as has been said by the last guy "It is what it is" I guess. 🤷‍♂️ Anyway, it is good to know that even this shall pass, if they stick to their word that is.
What's sad is that most of Amtrak's problems are two problems:

The original problem itself (in this case, no timetables)

Their lack of any kind of customer understanding: "Amtrak has a temporary issue with releasing new timetables because [ explanation here]. Please bear with us. Our management has researched the issue and resolved the delay so fully expects to have the problem resolved and new timetables available online by [date here] and in print by [date here]]." <--- The missing part - telling their customers.
 

zephyr17

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Apparently RPA reps brought up the timetable on website issue with Amtrak management and they were informed that the outage is temporary until they manage to get their act together through this unstable period of frequent timetable changes, which they are not staffed to deal with. Why not is a good question, but as has been said by the last guy "It is what it is" I guess. 🤷‍♂️ Anyway, it is good to know that even this shall pass, if they stick to their word that is.
My take is they actually intended permanent removal of the timetables, that is what I've heard in other forums and pretty consistently. When called on it by the RPA (and some of their own market research, which was what I was seeing in the other forums), they found a plausible excuse. It wouldn't be the first time Amtrak management has come up with such "the dog ate my homework" excuses for their actions.

Now, though, the important thing is too see that they follow up on their commitment to restore the timetables. There have been wayyyy too many things that Amtrak management implemented as "temporary" that turned out to be permanent.
 

acelafan

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I have some copies of past schedules for some western trains, and a couple of eastern ones. Some are dated March, 2020, before the switch to three day a week train schedules. They are in pdf format. I can post them if:

1. there is interest
2. it is allowed and does not infringe on copyright laws, and
3. does not violate the terms of use of this website.

Just let me know. 🙂
Trailrider1951, thanks - I have kept track of Amtrak timetables for about a decade to the best of my ability. First I would check the Amtrak website every 30 days for any changes and post them to my archive at this link: Amtrak Timetable Archives - Home

But then I wrote a program to automatically check amtrak.com for changes and it worked well for years, until Amtrak removed the consolidated list of timetables and then started removing the PDFs altogether. Hopefully they will come back as they say.
 

neroden

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My take is they actually intended permanent removal of the timetables, that is what I've heard in other forums and pretty consistently. When called on it by the RPA (and some of their own market research, which was what I was seeing in the other forums), they found a plausible excuse. It wouldn't be the first time Amtrak management has come up with such "the dog ate my homework" excuses for their actions.
I'm afraid that's also what it looks like to me.

Now, though, the important thing is too see that they follow up on their commitment to restore the timetables. There have been wayyyy too many things that Amtrak management implemented as "temporary" that turned out to be permanent.
Yep. Keep the pressure on.
 

neroden

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How can we help?
Keep complaining to Amtrak and telling them you want timetables ASAP, through whatever channels you have. Complain to your Congresspeople, too, perhaps. If we get something better-organized going like a petition or delegation or open letter, I'll let y'all know, but we don't seem to be quite to that stage of organization yet (I am still talking to other people at RPA about this.)
 
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Keep complaining to Amtrak and telling them you want timetables ASAP, through whatever channels you have. Complain to your Congresspeople, too, perhaps. If we get something better-organized going like a petition or delegation or open letter, I'll let y'all know, but we don't seem to be quite to that stage of organization yet (I am still talking to other people at RPA about this.)
While I whole-heartedly support your crusade to restore the timetables, I am afraid that if I vehemently complain to my Congressperson over that one issue, I would be dismissed as some sort of 'kook', and lose credibility for any future lobbying....🤷‍♂️
 

neroden

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While I whole-heartedly support your crusade to restore the timetables, I am afraid that if I vehemently complain to my Congressperson over that one issue, I would be dismissed as some sort of 'kook', and lose credibility for any future lobbying....🤷‍♂️
....I don't think so. If your Congressman has ever used a train in his entire life, his reaction is likely to be "what the hell, what do you mean Amtrak isn't publishing timetables, what is wrong with them?" You might want to point out that every other railroad in the world, including SunRail, Tri-Rail, Brightline, Miami Metrorail, and Miami Metromover, publishes timetables, and that Amtrak (the railroad funded by *Congress*) should too. If your Congressman has never used a train in his life, it might cause him to campaign for Amtrak to be defunded or privatized because Amtrak management is incompetent, but that's the risk you take.

If you were complaining to your Congressman about the food in the dining cars, then yes, you might sound like a kook. Complaining about the absence of timetables, something every single railroad in the world provides, just makes you sound like someone who is asking for something extremely reasonable and normal which you have every right to expect.
 

MARC Rider

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Keep complaining to Amtrak and telling them you want timetables ASAP, through whatever channels you have. Complain to your Congresspeople, too, perhaps. If we get something better-organized going like a petition or delegation or open letter, I'll let y'all know, but we don't seem to be quite to that stage of organization yet (I am still talking to other people at RPA about this.)
Think that making a FOIA request citing 49 CFR § 700.3 (b) would help? Of course, if Amtrak responds to FOIA requests like we used to do at EPA, it'll be "all hands on deck," mostly doing CYA paperwork to document that they're dealing with the request, not necessarily actually dealing with the request. :) And this might mean that maybe nobody will be available to actually put the timetables back up on the website. :) (And, actually, 49 CFR § 700.3 (b) does seem to suggest that the timetables are to be printed.)

Amtrak FOIA requests got to:

Amtrak FOIA Office
1 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

You may also submit a FOIA request via fax to 202-799-6934 or via email to [email protected].

Also, here's aa copy of Amtrak's FOIA handbook, which gives suggestions on how to make a FOIA request.

Oh, and FYI, they may want to charge you for xeroxing stuff. We would do that to law firms representing big rich regulated companies, but maybe waive the fees for impecunious public-interest groups. If the requested information required hours of searching through half-forgotten files drawers and additional work putting the stuff together, we might also charge those law firms for the labor involved. Because a large percentage of the FOIA requests from the law firms were "fishing expeditions" where the firm wasn't sure what they were looking for, once we quoted them a fat price for getting the stuff together, they usually backed off.

Of course, a request for public timetables would be a completely different kettle of fish. I think if I made such a request and they started dragging their heels or charging me xerox fees, I'd just find a handy reporter at the Washington Post and embarrass them to hell. But I suspect that they would be more likely to just send me some sort of timetable.
 
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Devil's Advocate

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While I whole-heartedly support your crusade to restore the timetables, I am afraid that if I vehemently complain to my Congressperson over that one issue, I would be dismissed as some sort of 'kook', and lose credibility for any future lobbying....🤷‍♂️
You won't be talking to your actual congressperson unless you're on the major donor list and telling an office clerk you want Amtrak to publish timetables for easier booking would be one of the least kooky things they heard that day.
 
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You won't be talking to your actual congressperson unless you're on the major donor list and telling an office clerk you want Amtrak to publish timetables for easier booking would be one of the least kooky things they heard that day.
Good point...I suppose it might help if you would tell your Congressperson, that you would be sure to let other advocates in their constituency how they supported your request?
 

drdumont

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< On 16 June, 2021) I just got this email from AMTRAK:
------------------------------
Thank you for contacting us.

Please visit Amtrak.com, where you can download printable versions of timetables for each route in the Amtrak system. You can also download the entire Amtrak System Timetable. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these PDF files. Please note that the schedule information listed in our Timetables may change after publication. The most current information may be obtained at Amtrak.com or by calling an Amtrak reservations agent.

Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245), 24/7, if you need assistance. Press '0' to speak with an Amtrak reservations agent.

We look forward to serving you aboard Amtrak.

Sincerely,
Maureen
Amtrak Center of Excellence

-------------------------------------------
Needless to say, I can not find them on the website. I responded thus, and have yet to get a reply.

"Download the entire Amtrak Timetable" my butt. It hasn't been available for ages.
 
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